Work to deliver the mountain bike destination at Warburton will soon begin after the project was given the green light by the planning minister on 31 October.
In reaching the decision, The Victorian minister for planning offered conditional support for the project, approving most of the proposal but removing the signature ‘ Drop-a-K’ trail.
Yarra Ranges Mayor, Cr Jim Child, said it was an exciting time for the Yarra Ranges following the announcement.
“We are really pleased to now have a response and a way forward for the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination and know this will be welcomed by our community”, Cr Child said.
“Not only is the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination designed to deliver a world class mountain biking destination, but it will help revitalise the region and deliver significant social and economic benefits to Warburton directly.
“I’d sincerely like to thank everyone who has supported us throughout this process, right back to 2013 when the initial feasibility of the project took place.
“As is the case with any major project, there will be some members of the community who will be disappointed that the project is proceeding but we hope that the modifications that have been made to the project have helped at least alleviate some of those concerns and can have confidence that this incredibly thorough process will ensure the project is delivered in a way that protects the natural, cultural and social environments of this unique area.”
The Warburton Mountain Bike Destination, together with the Yarra Valley Trail and ‘ngurrak barring’ Ridgewalk in the Dandenongs, is part of Council’s Ridges and Rivers project, a $30 million investment funded between Federal and State Governments, Council, and Bendigo Bank (Warburton and Yarra Junction).
Despite the removal of the ‘Drop-a-K’ trail, Yarra Ranges Mayor, Cr Jim Child remains confident the project as approved will meet its objectives of becoming a world class mountain bike destination, providing ongoing economic stability to the region and generating hundreds of jobs for the community.
“There’s a lot of things to do between now and when we can get on the ground but from an approvals perspective, essentially all statutory approvals need to consider the advice of the minister through the EES assessment, so that should happen fairly quickly,”
“We’re hopeful that we can get on the ground in about six months and then, hopefully around a year from now, we’ll be able to open the first couple stages of trails and the new trails will finally be rideable.
To keep up to date with the progress of the WMBD project, visit www.rideyarraranges.com.au